Don Lemon: Timeline of ‘fired’ CNN host’s career

In a shocking announcement, Don Lemon has been ousted from CNN after 17 years.

On Monday (24 April), the “stunned” journalist shared news of his termination on Twitter, writing that he was “informed this morning by my agent”.

“After 17 years at CNN I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to do the work I have loved at the network,” he added.

The revelation comes just hours after Lemon co-hosted CNN This Morning with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins like normal. Although, it follows a string of recent controversies.

Here’s a look at Lemon’s career before he joined CNN in September 2006.

Early years

Lemon first attended Louisiana State University but didn’t complete his studies. Years later, he graduated from Brooklyn College with a degree in journalism in 1996 at the age of 30.

Don Lemon (CNN This Morning)
Don Lemon (CNN This Morning)

While attending the latter, he began his career as a news assistant for Fox’s New York City station, WNYW. He later joined NBC’s Philadelphia affiliate WCAU-TV as a general assignment reporter and weekend anchor.

He eventually transferred to Fox’s St Louis affiliate, KTVI-TV, as an investigative reporter and anchor. He followed up with a stint as an anchor for Fox’s Birmingham affiliate, WBRC-TV.

Returning to New York City, Lemon joined both NBC’s Today and Nightly News as a correspondent. He also served as an anchor for the network’s Weekend Today show, as well as for programmes on MSNBC.

In 2003, he joined Chicago’s NBC5 News 5pm broadcast as a local news co-anchor, where he won three Emmys for his reporting in Africa and a business feature about the online community Craigslist.

Years with CNN

Lemon officially joined CNN’s New York bureau in 2006. During his early years with the network, he hosted its trial show, The Eleventh Hour, in 2014.

Shortly thereafter, CNN replaced Piers Morgan Live with CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, which he permanently hosted for eight years, from 2014 to 2022. In 2021, it was simply rebranded to Don Lemon Tonight.

In February 2022, it was revealed that Lemon would begin hosting the network’s talk show, The Don Lemon Show, for its then-forthcoming CNN+ streaming service.

Only two episodes were successfully released before the service was shut down in April 2022.

Months later, Lemon was announced as the co-anchor of CNN’s new morning show with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins.

CNN This Morning, which was intended to replace New Day, kicked off its first season in October 2022. However, it was reported three months after its launch that its viewership was in steady decline.